~  XCIV  ~

S. P. Scott, The Civil Law, XVII, Cincinnati, 1932 ).

The Same Emperor to the Same Stylianus.

  As Our legal reforms have for their object not only the annulment of laws which are detrimental, or which have in the course of time fallen into desuetude and hence are useless, and, as it were, on account of their decay, do not seem to be available for public purposes, the result of this is that We are about to remove from the statute books whatever relates to the consulate, together with other useless provisions. In former times, indeed, the consular office was treated with great respect, and caused those who attained it to be eminently distinguished objects of reverence, and the donors of magnificent gifts to the populace, and therefore those who obtained it, desiring that the people should be remunerated on account of the honor acquired through their agency, gifts were liberally showered upon them. In the beginning, every consul was allowed to display his munificence in accordance with his judgment, but it was afterwards established by a legal decree that this should be restricted within certain limits. This rule appears to have prevailed as long as the dignity of the consulate was known to the government; but now, as the course of time changes everything, it has transformed the consular office from its former glory and greatness into a mere abject formality, and as those who attain to it have hardly sufficient for their own necessities, they are unable to expend anything for the benefit of others. Therefore We, by this Our decree, annul this law relating to the consulship, which has fallen into disuse because of protracted silence, along with other useless legislation, as We have already stated, for it has no right to be included among other legal constitutions.